Joint motion for a resolution - RC-B7-0008/2014Joint motion for a resolution

JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on an EU homelessness strategy

13.1.2014 - (2013/2994(RSP))

pursuant to Rule 110(2) and (4), of the Rules of Procedure
replacing the motions by the following groups:
PPE (B7‑0008/2014)
ALDE (B7‑0009/2014)
S&D (B7‑0010/2014)
Verts/ALE (B7‑0011/2014)

Csaba Őry on behalf of the PPE Group
Alejandro Cercas, Pervenche Berès on behalf of the S&D Group
Niccolò Rinaldi on behalf of the ALDE Group
Karima Delli on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Cristiana Muscardini

Procedure : 2013/2994(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :

European Parliament resolution on an EU homelessness strategy


The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Treaty on European Union, in particular Articles 2 and 3 thereof,

–   having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in particular Articles 9, 14, 151 and 153 thereof,

–   having regard to the revised European Social Charter of the Council of Europe, in particular Article 31 thereof,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Article 34 and 36 thereof,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 16 December 2010 entitled ‘The European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion: A European framework for social and territorial cohesion’ (COM(2010)0758),

–   having regard to Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin[1],

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020),

–   having regard to its declaration of 22 April 2008 on ending street homelessness[2],

–   having regard to the European consensus conference of December 2010,

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 September 2011 on an EU Homelessness Strategy[3],

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 20 February 2013 entitled ‘Towards Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion – including implementing the European Social Fund 2014-2020’ (COM(2013)0083),

–   having regard to the Commission staff working document of 20 February 2013 entitled ‘Confronting Homelessness in the European Union’ (SWD(2013)0042),

–   having regard to its resolution of 11 June 2013 on social housing in the European Union[4],

–   having regard to the six principles which were agreed at the Ministers’ Round Table on Homelessness, held in Leuven on 1 March 2013 on the initiative of the Irish Presidency;

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas all human beings are born free, with equal dignity and rights, and it is the responsibility of the Member States to promote and guarantee these rights;

B.  whereas homelessness is a violation of human dignity and of human rights; whereas housing is a basic human need and a precondition for a decent life and social inclusion;

C. whereas homelessness has become a priority of the EU’s poverty policy in the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy and its flagship-initiative European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion, as well as in the EU Social Investment Package; whereas, however, the current levels of poverty and social exclusion are jeopardising the Europe 2020 Strategy target of reducing the number of people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion by at least 20 million;

D. whereas homelessness represents the most extreme form of poverty and deprivation, and has increased in recent years in virtually all Member States;

E.  whereas the Member States worst hit by the economic and financial crisis are witnessing an unprecedented increase in homelessness;

F.  whereas the social and family profiles of people using social housing have changed, and whereas there is now increased demand for such housing;

G. whereas in some Member States there is a shortage of social housing facilities and an increasing need for affordable housing;

H. whereas several EU bodies such as the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee and Parliament have called on the Commission to develop an EU strategy on homelessness or something similar;

I.   whereas homelessness is by its very nature a multifaceted problem and requires a multifaceted policy response;

J.   whereas there is increasing evidence that housing-led approaches to homelessness are the most effective;

K. whereas homelessness receives increasing focus in the framework of the EU Semester, with some Member States including homelessness as an anti-poverty priority in their 2012 and 2013 National Reform Programmes;

L.  whereas the current EU policy framework and the social reality on the ground are paving the way for enhanced and more ambitious action on homelessness at EU level;

M. whereas the EU Member States have the world’s most advanced social protection system, with the highest contributions for social benefits for citizens;

N. whereas the immediate responsibility for tackling homelessness lies with the Member States, and in particular regional and local authorities, and whereas an EU strategy has a complementary role to play;

O. whereas a stronger role for the Commission is possible within its current areas of competence and while respecting the principle of subsidiarity;

P.  whereas an increasing number of Member States have a holistic homelessness strategy and could benefit from European cooperation to further develop their policies;

Q. whereas poverty is not a crime and whereas homelessness is neither a crime nor a lifestyle choice;

1.  Points out that homeless people struggle to cope with life and are forced to live in inhumane conditions;

2.  Urges the Commission to develop an EU homelessness strategy without any further delay along the lines set out in Parliament’s resolution of 14 September 2011 on an EU homelessness strategy and in proposals from other EU institutions and bodies;

3.  Considers that an EU Homelessness Strategy should fully respect the Treaty, which affirms ‘the essential role and the wide discretion of national, regional and local authorities in providing, commissioning and organising services of general economic interest as closely as possible to the needs of the users’; considers that responsibility for fighting homelessness lies with the Member States and that an EU homelessness strategy should therefore support Member States in taking up this responsibility as effectively as possible while fully respecting the principle of subsidiarity;

4.  Calls on the Commission to establish a high-level expert group to support it in the preparation and further development of an EU homelessness strategy;

5.  Calls on the Commission to give due consideration to homelessness in the Country Specific Recommendations for Member States where progress on homelessness is urgently required; calls on the Member States to further strengthen the inclusion of homelessness in their National Reform Programmes;

6.  Underlines the need to collect comprehensive and comparable data concerning homelessness without stigmatising homeless people; stresses that data collection is a precondition for the development of efficient policies leading ultimately to the eradication of homelessness;

7.  Invites the Commission to use the EaSI (employment and social innovation) programme as the main source of funding for an EU strategy to finance research and transnational exchanges, and to further build its cooperation with key European stakeholders;

8.  Calls on the Commission to mainstream homelessness across all relevant EU policy areas;

9.  Invites the Commission to focus on the following priority themes for an EU homelessness strategy:

•    housing-led / Housing First approaches to homelessness;

•    cross-border homelessness;

•    quality of homelessness services;

•    prevention of homelessness;

•    youth homelessness;

10. Recalls its resolution of 14 September 2011 on homelessness for the key elements of an EU homelessness strategy, and stresses the following elements in particular:

•    regular European monitoring of homelessness;

•    research and knowledge building on homelessness policies and services;

•    social innovation in homelessness policies and services;


11. Urges the Member States to develop social and affordable housing adapted for the most vulnerable individuals in order to prevent social exclusion and homelessness;

12. Calls on the Member States not to violate international human rights treaties and to fully respect any agreements they have signed, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Council of Europe’s revised Social Charter;

13. Calls on the Member States to use the resources of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), as well as other programmes such as the European Social Fund (ESF), to improve the situation of homeless people and create a path to social inclusion and employment integration;

14. Calls on the Member States and the EU Presidency to hold on a regular basis a European Round Table of EU Ministers responsible for homelessness, as initiated by the Irish EU Presidency in March 2013; invites the Commission to provide practical and financial support for this meeting;

15. Calls on the Member States to deepen their cooperation in order to enhance mutual learning and exchange of best practices and to develop a common policy approach;

16. Calls on the Member States to apply a holistic approach when developing comprehensive homelessness strategies which are housing-led and include a strong prevention focus;

17. Believes that Members States and their local authorities, in cooperation with tenants’ organisations, should implement effective prevention policies to reduce the rate of evictions;

18. Invites the Council to consider introducing a recommendation on a guarantee to ensure that nobody in the EU is forced to sleep rough because of a lack of (emergency) services;

19. Calls on the Member States to work according to national practice with relevant aid organisations to provide counselling and accommodation to the homeless;

20. Underlines the urgent need to combat any form of discrimination against the homeless and the marginalisation of entire communities;

21. Emphasises that the fulfilment of the right to housing is critical for the enjoyment of a full range of other rights, including several political and social rights;

22. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Social Protection Committee and the Council of Europe.